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How to Care for Nylon Fabrics

How to Care for Nylon Fabrics

Even in the case of nylon fabric, which is known for its durability and easy maintenance, it becomes important to know and follow the right method or instructions while caring for the same. This article provides some information about taking care of nylon fabrics.
Praseeda Shirodkar
To Avoid Pilling of the Fabric
• Avoid heavy washing and automatic drying.
• Hand-wash and naturally dry delicate nylon clothing.
• Avoid rubbing with other fabrics.
• Wash the fabric inside out.

Nylon is a synthetic fabric that is produced from petroleum products. It is light in weight and has high tensile strength. Furthermore, it is the second-most used fiber in the United States and is popular for its versatility and low-maintenance properties. Developed as an alternative to silk in the 1930s during World War II, and after its extensive usage during that phase, it remains to be one of the most popular fabrics even today.
Caring for Nylon Fabrics
Though nylon is durable and tough, there are certain things to consider while caring for the same, in order to avoid damage of any kind. Here are some tips.
While Washing and Drying
Most of the items made from nylon can be machine-washed. While doing this, make sure to use cool to moderate water temperatures.
It is always better to wash it separately from other types of fabrics. This is because it has the tendency to pick up colors from other fabrics that lose their color when wet.
An all-purpose laundry detergent would work well for washing the same. It is best to avoid using bleach. However, if necessary, use only non-chlorine bleach. This is because chlorine bleaches can cause the fabric to permanently turn yellow.
This fabric has a tendency to build up static electricity which is caused due to friction with other clothing. A fabric softener added to the final rinse cycle in the washer or the use of a dryer sheet in the dryer will help minimize static electricity to a great extent.
The fabric can be tumbled dry on a low-heat setting. The fabric should be removed from the dryer as soon as the tumbling cycle is complete. Generally, this fabric retains its shape and does not develop wrinkles, however, not removing it immediately from the dryer may cause wrinkle formation.
Nylon fabrics have low resistance to sunlight and tend to weaken and turn yellow on direct exposure to it. This is mostly the case in white nylon. For drying purposes, it is better to avoid sunlight and dry them in the shade.
In most cases, this fabric does not require ironing but if it's needed, use the iron on a warm setting.
In the case of swimsuits, they are best hand-washed. However, if using the machine, remember to use the gentle cycle. Avoid using the dryer which can cause shrinkage or damage it. Instead, dry it naturally.
On Exposure to Heat
Most synthetic fibers like nylon are heat-sensitive, and thus high temperatures may cause them to shrink, loosen, or discolor. Thus, exposing the fabric to high temperatures should be avoided.
For Removal of Stains
Usually, dirt does not cling to nylon fabrics, thus making it easy to clean them. However, in cases of severe dirt and soil removal, a pretreatment would be required. That is, prepare a thick paste of detergent and water and apply it on the soiled areas using a soft brush. Then, soak it for about 10-15 minutes in detergent water. You can then proceed with the normal washing procedure.
In case of oil stains, which these fibers are believed to easily attract, prompt treatment would help remove them with ease. However, the stains would set and become difficult to remove if subjected to heat from a dryer or iron. So, use the pretreatment procedure mentioned for the dirt and soil removal, and then use a heavy-duty detergent in warm water.
For Long-term Storage
Make sure to follow the correct cleaning procedures before putting the fabric for long-term storage. This is because if sweat, perfume, etc., remain on it, then these contaminants may change color over time and result in permanent damage to the fabrics. Food stains tend to attract insects, due to which leaving them on the fabric before long-term storage may result in holes on the same.
Although it is resistant to moths, mildew, and fungi, it is believed to be sensitive to ants and roaches.

It does not attract moisture.
Once washed and dried well, it can be easily put in under-bed storage containers, sweater boxes, fabric garment bags, or large storage containers that are available in the market in various materials and sizes.
Benefits of Using Nylon Fabric and its Uses
This fabric is extremely easy to care for and comfortable to wear. It is available in the market as clothing ranging from dresses to undergarments, and also in the form of curtains and upholstery. It has a very low absorbency rate and thus, is an ideal fabric choice for swimwear and athletic gear. Furthermore, it has been widely used in the stocking industry, replacing the stockings made from silk which are quite costly. Moreover, it is less expensive to produce as compared to other fabrics, which contributes to its affordability. Most synthetic fibers are resistant to dyes, whereas nylon takes in dyes with ease and even holds them better, and hence, is available in a variety of rich colors. This fabric is known to hold its shape after washing, thus, reducing wrinkles. It is also not affected by mold, mildew, body perspiration, and most chemicals.
Following the aforementioned tips might prove beneficial. However, one of the most important aspects is to refer to and follow the instructions on the sewn-in labels or hang tags that come along with the fabric. This should be done prior to the laundering process.